The purpose of the study was to test the effectiveness of the Santa Clara County and San Francisco County court-based intervention programs that addressed juvenile domestic and family violence.
A quasi-experimental research design incorporating two experimental groups (Santa Clara County, San Francisco County) and a comparison group (Contra Costa County) was used to examine program effects on recidivism and offender behaviors. Program evaluation included analysis of the minors' background, incident data, and outcome evaluation, which focused on the impact of court, probation, and treatment on individual levels. The program evaluation involved coding probation and court files in each of the three counties to (1) document the sociodemographic, experiential, and delinquency backgrounds of juvenile domestic/family violence offenders, (2) profile victim backgrounds and the nature of the incident, (3) collect information on probation conditions, intervention programs, and probation violations, and (4) gather information on subsequent arrests and convictions for domestic and family violence offenses and any new re-arrests.
Coding sheets were used to quantify data collected from probation files, court files, and criminal record checks. The actual coding took place at the probation department or juvenile court file rooms at each site. Recidivism data were collected from juvenile probation files as well as criminal record checks. Adult records were checked up to August 31, 2005 -- allowing a period of six years from the time in which the Santa Clara program first began operations, and four years from the time in which the San Francisco court program first started. In Contra Costa County, adult criminal records were checked from September 1999 through August 2005. The adult criminal records were provided from the probation department or court personnel in all three counties, using the records from the California Criminal Justice Information Control. The final study group included 303 closed cases (201 cases from Santa Clara County, 40 cases from San Francisco County, and 62 cases from Contra Costa County).
The research team only coded closed juvenile domestic/family violence cases in Santa Clara County, San Francisco County, and Contra Costa County. In Santa Clara County and San Francisco County, the probation departments provided a list of all the cases assigned to their juvenile domestic/family violence courts for September 1999 to August 2003 for Santa Clara County and for September 2001 to August 2003 for San Francisco County.
Since there was no such list available in Contra Costa, researchers first had to identify domestic/family violence cases from the general caseload. After a review of offenders in the Santa Clara Juvenile Domestic and Family Violence Court, the Contra Costa cases were initially selected by the major domestic/family violence penal codes and other batterer/assault codes that potentially might have involved a teen relationship violence or family violence incident. The Probation Department technical staff in Contra Costa County searched all their case records during the period from September 1999 to August 2003 for cases adjudicated with at least one of four penal code violations that were indicative of a domestic or family violence crime. Cases that clearly involved a domestic or family violence relationship were included in the sample, resulting in a list of 381 potential cases. A number of cases identified as domestic or family violence, primarily in Contra Costa County, were dismissed either before reaching the court or because the court determined that the case was a dependency case rather than a delinquency case. These cases were excluded from the final sample as they were not comparable to the sample of cases that received the court-based intervention in Santa Clara and San Francisco Counties.
The final sample is comprised of 303 closed cases (201 cases from Santa Clara County, 40 cases from San Francisco County, and 62 cases from Contra Costa County).
All juvenile domestic/family violence court cases in Santa Clara County, California between September 1999 and August 2003, in San Francisco County, California between September 2001 and August 2003, and in Contra Costa County, California between September 1999 and August 2003.
Adult criminal records.
The study contains 386 variables including county, various important date variables, background variables, incident data, intervention data, and outcome variables. Background information variables include offender characteristics and victim characteristics. Outcome variables include intervention outcomes, juvenile recidivism outcomes, and adult recidivism outcomes.